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Chelsea targeting Premier League’s forgotten man and BTEC version of Romelu Lukaku in January

Antonio Conte will battle Spurs for Ross Barkley and wants striker reinforcements after being unconvinced by Michy Batshuayi

Ross Barkely — now there’s a name we haven’t heard in a while.

Having sensationally pulled out of a move to Chelsea on deadline day after passing a medical, the Everton midfielder promptly tore his hamstring in training and has not been seen yet this season.

A reminder of what he looks like

Rex Features
A reminder of what he looks like

Barkley is in the final 12 months of his contract at Everton and may be sold in January to prevent him leaving for free in the summer.

The Mirror are reporting that Antonio Conte is preparing to challenge Spurs and go back in for the 23-year-old England international once the transfer window reopens.

The Italian gaffer is a fan of Barkley and was said to be frustrated by the confusion on deadline day.

With a World Cup around the corner, Barkley can no longer be the Premier League’s forgotten man if he wants a place in Gareth Southgate’s squad.

A new club and a spell of sustained fitness is in order

PA:Empics Sport
A new club and a spell of sustained fitness is in order

It is also believed Chelsea will inquire about the availability of Christian Benteke, who has just returned to training with Crystal Palace.

The Blues missed out on Fernando Llorente in the summer after he opted to join Spurs and so Conte’s need for a target man has not been fulfilled.

The Stamford Bridge boss is supposedly still not entirely convinced with Michy Batshuayi – despite the Belgian’s impressive goals-to-minute ratio for Chelsea.

Benteke last played in the Eagles’ 5-0 mauling at the hands of Man City and is yet to score this season.

Goalless Benteke is on Conte’s radar

Goalless Benteke is on Conte’s radar

You can’t help but feel Benteke is something of a watered down version of compatriot Romelu Lukaku — who Chelsea also missed out on in the summer.

The 26-year-old scored 17 goals in all competitions for Palace last season after somewhat struggling at Liverpool.

The Belgium international has all the attributes to provide competition and cover for Alvaro Morata.

The question now is, will Roman Abramovich back Conte in January?

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